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Cooper Hart, music and theater freshman, rehearses Feb. 25 with Justin Tinker, nursing freshman, for this semester’s play, “Romeo and Juliet,” in Richardson Auditorium. The cast started dress rehersals last week. Opening night starts tonight.  Photo by Alejandra Rojas, Collegian Photographer

Cooper Hart, music and theater freshman, rehearses Feb. 25 with Justin Tinker, nursing freshman, for this semester’s play, “Romeo and Juliet,” in Richardson Auditorium. The cast started dress rehersals last week. Opening night starts tonight. Photo by Alejandra Rojas, Collegian Photographer

“Romeo and Juliet” is a classic. The roles of Romeo and Juliet are meant for those who have experience and know what it’s like to perform in front of people.  Although you might think the most skilled veteran should have the leading role, this is not the case for this semester’s play.

“Romeo and Juliet,” will feature two freshmen as the leading roles.

This production is under the direction of Roger Moon, associate professor of theater, speech and music will be directed by, Daniel Stevens, assistant professor of strings music.

Romeo will be played by Justin Tinker, nursing freshman and Cooper Hart, theatre and music freshman, will play Juliet.

While both Tinker and Hart are thrilled they received the roles, neither was anticipating to be the lead.

Tinker said, “I didn’t expect it. I was expecting like chorus number seven or maybe they could have written a part for college kid that looks like a little boy cause that’s kinda what I do, but I wasn’t expecting it.”

Hart, although taken aback said, “I was really surprised that I got it and then after that I was sort of worried about having such a big role, but I’m trying to step it up.”

Being the lead role isn’t easy and keeping the balance between school and homework becomes difficult.

Tinker said, “It doesn’t make school easy. It’s not like I was good at school anyway. It makes me even more inspired to not go to class as bad as that is, but I have all As and Bs somehow.

Tinker also feels being a part of the play has helped him come closer to the cast.

Hart has also had a tough time balancing everything. Not only does she have to deal with school, homework and memorizing her script, but she also helps with the set.

“It has spread me thin much more, like in what I can do,” said Hart. “I’m also the shop foreman, the person who helps build the set.”

Even though it hasn’t been easy for Tinker and Hart they have been involved in theater since high school and have been a part of it because they enjoy it.

“You get to be something you could never be,” said Tinker. “It’s kinda like you watch superhero movies and you could actually never be a superhero, but when you are on stage you can be just about anything you want to be.”

“Romeo and Juliet” will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 3, 5 and 7 in Richardson Auditorium and also at 7:30 p.m. March 4 at the Pocan Theatre, in Ponca City, Okla. Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students. Youth, Southwestern students, staff and faculty are free.